Hedvig Mollestad and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Maternity Beat, Rune Grammofon ****

So what's striking? A helluva lot. Dizzying guitar workouts in the second part of 'On the Horizon' to start - Norwegian guitarist vocalist composer Hedvig Mollestad here with the reliably audacious 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Broad brush …

Published: 26 Nov 2022. Updated: 2 months.

So what's striking? A helluva lot. Dizzying guitar workouts in the second part of 'On the Horizon' to start - Norwegian guitarist vocalist composer Hedvig Mollestad here with the reliably audacious 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Broad brush strokes provide handsome themes. And yet it's the sprawling detail and ferocious dervish quality of this proggish orchestrated album that is even better. On the zany blink and you'd miss it 'Salt Peanuts' riffing 'Donna Ovis Peppa' you get just one of many scenic detours. Zappa fans won't be the only ones to thrill to the driving beat of 'All Flights Cancelled'. The intimacy of motherhood is a strong feature on 'Maternity Beat' and again lots of airguitar-along-to rockist and quasi-choral pomp on 'Maternity Suite' are all part of an exhilarating formula. Hedvig Mollestad and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra photo: press

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Ken Stubbs, a Day, a Way ****

Individuality is all. A tonic to hear a new small group version of Ivo Neame's 'The Rise of the Lizard People' from Glimpses of Truth. First thought. Loose Tubes-era alto sax ace Ken Stubbs who is now living down under was excellent last year on …

Published: 25 Nov 2022. Updated: 25 days.

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Individuality is all. A tonic to hear a new small group version of Ivo Neame's 'The Rise of the Lizard People' from Glimpses of Truth. First thought.

Loose Tubes-era alto sax ace Ken Stubbs who is now living down under was excellent last year on 3 Shadows 4 Angels (man of Kent Ivo cropped up there) and now here the piece is in quartet formation instead with avant superhero Craig Taborn and bass-drums team Hirst and Barker again from the 3 Shadows recording.

Stubbs tunes and Django Bates numbers Cashin' In's 'Underfelt' (1988) and the scampering 'Dimple' from the highly collectable First House gem Cantilena (1989) which of course Stubbs led complete the avantbop feast. It's quite moving in places dotted with melancholia, Taborn gels extremely well with the Aussies. Sinuous detailed deconstructed scalar troughs and peaks detonate the senses. Stubbs is tender and reflective. A welcome surprise. Let's hope Stubbs can play some Blighty clubs some day again - after all the tube, loose or otherwise, doesn't run to Byron Bay. Ken Stubbs, photo: publicity shot.

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